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  • Writer's pictureOut and About

Subiaco Children's Adventure Map

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

I had saved this map some time ago and added the trail to my list of places to explore. When I finally found the time I was unable to source the map on the City of Subiaco website but I printed out the copy I had previously saved and we set off to explore. We have done a lot of exploring in and around Subiaco but even some of the places on this trail were new discoveries for us.

Special plaques are located at each stop along the walk and form part of the adventure. The turtle symbol represents the Aboriginal connection to the City of Subiaco. Find the hidden plaque at each stop and write down the letter contained in its shell. The letters will come together to make a secret password. Unfortunately we couldn't find some of the letters and some have degraded. This is a shame but it is still a fun little adventure. We had lots of fun doing the activities, answering the questions and discovering a little bit more about beautiful Subiaco so don't let the missing clues stop you from exploring.

The trail is about 4km in length and will take at least an hour and up to a half day if you stop to play at the various playgrounds along the way. The information in this blog is copied directly from the brochure so if you are unable to download the brochure and the map image is too small to read you can use this blog as your guide. The Subiaco Library does have paper maps located near the bus timetables so if they are open you can grab a copy.

The City of Subiaco was the homeland of the Nyungah Aboriginal people long before the first European settlers came to the area. They believe the wetland systems were created by movements of the Rainbow Serpent through Nyungah spiritual dreaming. The wetlands are of cultural significance to Nyungah people of this area. Nyungah people of the Swan River and Swan Coastal Plains are the traditional land owners, keepers of knowledge, custodians and carers of the land and waterway.

The wetlands were once a source of water and food for the Nyungah people as they moved along the Swan River with seasonal changes. The lakes and wetlands in the City of Subiaco are feeding and breeding sites for birds and other animals, including the western long neck turtles.

1. Subiaco Museum

The Subiaco Museum is home to thousands of objects, documents and photographs that make up part of Subiaco’s history. All the objects in the museum were once used or owned by the people of Subiaco.

The original City of Subiaco Council Chambers once stood in front of the Subiaco Museum building. The site is marked by a plaque set into a large stone. What year was the stone installed?

Since 1975 this building has housed the Subiaco Museum. In the past it was used for many other purposes, including an electricity substation. On the front of the building are three electrical connectors. A sign below these connectors refers to the electrical current. How many volts did they generate?

Strange fact! At one time this building was used for mixing rat poison to help destroy the many rats found in the area.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

2. Council Chambers

The City of Subiaco council is made up of a mayor and eleven councillors. The council provides leadership and makes decisions on behalf of the local community. The City of Subiaco includes the suburbs of Jolimont, Daglish, Shenton Park and Subiaco.

Can you find these items in the City of Subiaco logo?

A railway worker

A monk

A swan

A turtle

A book

Three tents

Two snakes

An olive branch

Did you know? In 1851 a group of Benedictine monks settled in the area and named the monastery New Subiaco after their Italian home.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

As you move towards the next stop, look up to see tall pine trees. These trees are over 100 years old. This area is called Rankin Gardens and was named after Alexander Rankin, who worked hard to develop local parks and gardens. Find the tallest tree. How high do you think it is?

3. Fallen Soldiers Memorial

Designed by architect Ernest Hugh Hamilton, this memorial was built in 1923 to honour the residents of Subiaco who died in the First World War. The memorial is also a chiming clock which has five bells – one large and four small. The large bell chimes on the hour and the four smaller bells chime every fifteen minutes. The cone on top of the tower is made from copper.

Have a close look and list five other materials you think were used to build the memorial.

Why do you think we have memorials?

Strange Fact Ernest Hugh Hamilton died suddenly when he drowned in the Swan River in 1928.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

4. Theatre Gardens

Explore the large area that makes up Subiaco Theatre Gardens. It contains the Subiaco Arts Centre where many plays and concerts are held.

Did you know? The sculpture found here is called Barking Gecko Australian Zodiac. It is covered in brightly coloured mosaic tiles. The artwork was created by local school children with help from artists Trish Burvill and Jason Hirst and the Barking Gecko Theatre Company. The original design was done by Grahame Gavin. On the ground there is a large, circular mosaic artwork of twelve different Australian animals. Can you name any of them?

Take some time to relax, enjoy a game of hide and seek, perform on the outdoor stage or have fun on the playground equipment. Things to search for while you’re here:

one pond

two different types of birds

three bridges

four rubbish bins

five rose bushes.

You may even find a very big visitor by the name of Bille Bob here!

Drinking water and public toilets are located at this stop. They are open twenty-four hours a day.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

Walking along Bagot Road you will find some trees with loads of character. How old do you think these gnarly monsters are?

Stop by to check out the recycled artworks at Earthwise too!

5. Subiaco Primary School

The first red brick building at Subiaco Primary School opened its doors to almost 400 students on 12 May 1897. ‘Knowledge is Power’ was written on a huge banner over the front entrance on opening day. The school’s first headmaster, Mr Sidney Grace, came from Victoria and encouraged the students to play Australian Rules Football. In the 1890s many families moved to Subiaco due to a recession in the eastern states of Australia and the gold rush in Kalgoorlie. The school grew very quickly and more classrooms were needed for the growing number of children.

On the pavement outside the school, colourful tiles help students learn about safety. How many can you see?

Did you know? Five weeks after the school opened the building was badly damaged by fire. Fire marks can still be found on the front wall. Can you find them?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

Don't forget to look up high and along the alleyways for lots of excellent artworks along Rokeby Road.

6. Ceramic Snake

This artwork was created in 1997 by students from Subiaco, Jolimont and Rosalie primary schools and Perth Modern School, with the help of artists Jenny Dawson and Sandra Hill. The ceramic mosaic tiles were made and painted by hand. Many of the designs within the body of the snake are influenced by Aboriginal art, showing the Indigenous connection to Subiaco before European settlement. Describe some of the pictures you can see.

Find the large ceramic snake set into the pavement. Postal Walk has recently been redeveloped so the full Waugyl is no longer visible but sections have been retained. It is no longer possible to count your steps as you walk along the snake from head to tail.

Did you know? This artwork was designed to celebrate Subiaco’s 100 years of local government from 1896 to 1996.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

7. Rokeby Road and Hay Street Intersection

The intersection has two significant buildings that are diagonally opposite each other the Subiaco Hotel built in 1896 and the art deco-style Regal Theatre, which opened in 1938. The Coliseum Picture Gardens once stood where the Regal Theatre is now. It used to show outdoor movies on a big screen.

A metal cone shape once sat on top of the Subiaco Hotel. After an earthquake in 1968, the cone became unsafe and was removed. Draw a design for a new object to go on top of the tower. Can you spot any other differences?

Did you know? High up on another building at this intersection is a small mosaic tile shape. It was put there by Invader, a French street artist. Can you find it?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

8. Subiaco Train Station

In 1881 the first trains ran on the Perth to Fremantle railway line. The train platforms are now underground, but they were once located closer to Roberts Road. Pedestrians had to walk across the tracks at an overpass to get from one side to the other.

Have you ever tried to tell the time on the orange Clock Tower located outside the station? It was created in 1997 by artists Rodney Glick, Kevin Draper and Marco Marcon. This public artwork is a great meeting place, but don’t be late!

If you want to travel by train from Subiaco to the Showgrounds, would you board a train to Fremantle or to Perth?

Did you know? A train is not the only type of public transport you can catch here. The number 97 Subiaco Shuttle Bus route also stops here. Can you find the bus stop?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

There are some weird and wonderful artworks around the train station on the way to the church.

9. St Joseph's Church

St. Joseph’s Church was designed by architect Edgar Henderson and built between 1933 and 1937. It has many Gothic architecture features including pointed arches, a tall tower and detailed stained glass windows. These beautiful coloured glass windows are best viewed from inside the church and are worth seeing if you have the chance.

Did you know? The church was heritage listed in 2001 because of its place in Subiaco’s history. This means it can never be demolished.

What are churches for?

What are some of the reasons people go to church?

Find the turtle and write in the letter

10. Dom Salvado Sculpture

Dom Salvado arrived in Western Australia in 1846 and was one of the early European settlers in Subiaco. He was a Benedictine monk, musician and medical doctor. Dom Salvado spent most of his life working with Aboriginal people and setting up the historic town of New Norcia. He once walked 130 kilometres from New Norcia to Perth to get food for his community.

This public artwork was created by sculptor Greg James. It shows Dom Salvado in his monk’s robes walking along Salvado Road. This road was named after him in honour of his role in Subiaco’s history. Try to stand in the same pose. What is he doing?

Describe the expression on his face. What is he thinking about?

What is this sculpture made from?

Did you know? This sculpture was designed to be life sized. That means Dom Salvado wasn;t very tall. How do you measure up?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

As you pass through Market Square there is a small shaded playground and the Subiaco Rotunda.

11. Subiaco Oval Gates

The Subiaco Oval Gates were the main entrance to the oval. They were built in 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The gates have a limestone ticket office at each end of an eight-bay turnstile race. The gates were heritage listed in 2000 and cannot be demolished or altered in any way.

Football matches were played at the oval from when it was built in 1908 until 2017. Before it opened the area was known as the ‘sand patch’ and playing football there was very difficult! Subiaco Oval was the home ground for two AFL teams the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. Did you ever see a match?

For how many years was football played at Subiaco Oval?

What is the gate number of the Subiaco Oval Gates?

Did you know? These gates are an iconic image of Subiaco Oval for thousands of football supporters.

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

12. Top Dog Mews

These apartments named Top Dog Mews, were built by Jim Halliday, a former sheep shearer and the owner of Top, a sheep dog. The statue celebrates all sheep dogs who are a part of the Australian wool industry. Draw a picture of your pet dog or favourite animal.

Top is the name of the famous dog in this statue. Write down the names of some other famous dogs.

Did you know? High up on the two-storey building at the intersection of Axon Street and Churchill Avenue, you will see the statue of a dog called Top. Can you find him?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

13. Richard Diggins Park

This park was named after Richard Diggins, the Mayor of Subiaco from 1978 to 1989. Who was the next Mayor of Subiaco after Richard Diggins?

This park features gardens with both exotic and native plants. Look on the ground and you will see leaves in many shapes and colours. Collect five fallen leaves from different plants.

Did you know? During his time as Mayor Richard Diggins helped save the old character homes of Subiaco.

Experience the park using your five senses.

Find somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down. What does the ground feel like on your skin?

Close your eyes and listen carefully. What do you hear?

Take a deep breath in through your nose. What do you smell?

Look up towards the sky. What do you see?

Take a sip from the water fountain or your own drink. What does it taste like?

Find the turtle and write in the letter.

14. Subiaco Library

In the early 1900s the Subiaco Library site was originally the Subiaco Post Office. Its full title is the Evelyn H. Parker Library and was named after Miss E. H. Parker, mayor of Subiaco from 1974 to 1977. Miss Parker was Western Australia’s first female mayor and taught at Subiaco Primary School from 1952 to 1967.

Large public artworks by artist and writer Shaun Tan hang inside the library, and one of his drawings has been added to the front doors and windows. The artwork by Shaun Tan in the children's library is titled The Tea Party. If you were to host a tea party, who would you invite?

Did you know? Borrowing books and other items is not the only thing you can do at Subiaco Library. There are also activities for children, including Baby Rhyme Time, Storytime, art exhibitions, school holiday workshops, awards and competitions.

Find the turtle and write in the last letter.

Further afield

There are many other exciting sites in the City of Subiaco that are not covered in this Children’s Adventure Map. You may like to visit some of these other places of interest:

Cliff Sadlier Memorial Park, Jolimont Primary School, Lake Jualbup, Mabel Talbot Park, Mueller Park Playground, Subiaco Common, Subiaco Skate Park, Subiaco Scout Hall and many more.

The City of Subiaco also publishes Kids School Holiday Adventure Maps featuring sights, activities and yummy places to eat. Copies are available from the Library.

If you are interestedin art follow the Subi Art Discovery Trail.


You have completed the City of Subiaco's Children's Adventure Map Trail.

Have you collected all the letters to make the secret password? Take your answer to the Subiaco Library counter and complete a short evaluation to receive your prize pack. ( EDIT: I'm not sure this is still valid but you can try.) We were able to guess the secret password even though we were missing some letters. Answers to the questions are found within the brochure - just in case you get stuck!

To read more blogs go to:

Other blogs featuring Subiaco and surrounds can be found at:

Or if you enjoyed this trail why not try another Discovery Trail


In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


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